Stephens to coach daughter in all-star basketball contest
SUMMIT — North Pike girls basketball coach John P. Stephens hasa unique honor this week. Stevens gets to coach the South All-Stargirls in the North vs. South Mississippi Association ofCoaches/Mississippi Sports Medicine Girls All-Star Game.
The all-star game tips off Thursday night at 6 p.m. atA.E. WoodColiseum on the Mississippi College campus.
What makes the selection of Stephens more special is that hisdaughter Britta also was selected to the South squad.
Previously, just senior players were selected. But under the newformat the MAC went with junior players instead.
Stephens and the Lady Jaguars had a great season, finishing 29-6and playing in the state tournament in the Mississippi Coliseum inJackson. Most of his players will be back.
“It’s always an honor to be selected ,” said Stephens. “Iappreciate it. It’s particularly a pleasure since my daughter isplaying.”
Joining Stephens from this area are Brittany Fultz of South Pikeand Dominique Whitfield of Crystal Springs.
The coaches and players report Tuesday at noon with the firstpractice at 7 p.m. Wednesday ‘s schedule includes 2 practices, oneat 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Thursday, they practice 8:30 a.m. and 1p.m. (the latter is optional).
“I am looking forward to working with all of the kids,” addedStephens. “I appreciate getting to do it her year. Britta wants toplay.”
Stephens finished her junior year averaging 12.4 points, 6.5rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Lady Jags. She excels in theclassroom, scoring a 24 on her ACT test.
The younger Stephens still has her senior year to play for herfather but is looking forward to the special situation the all-stargame brings.
“It is a big honor to play with such great players,” said BrittaStephens. “I think it is going to be fun. I am glad he is gettingto coach while I play.”
Joining Stephens on the sidelines is Choctaw Central coachWalter Wilson. Stephens and his Lady Jags went against Wilson’sLady Choctaws during the state playoffs this season. He knows howgood a coach Wilson is.
“Wilson won a state title with the boys,” Stephens said. “Hedoes a mighty good job with his kids. They don’t vary from theirgame plan. They have been successful with it.”
South Girls — LaReina Adams, 5-8 forward, St.Andrew’s; Shaquita Bell, 5-8 guard/forward, NE Lauderdale; AshleyBoehrel, 5-9 guard/forward, Hancock; Latoya Branch, 5-10, post,Gulfport; Chantay Frazier, 5-7 guard, Choctaw Central; BrittanyFultz, 5-8 guard/forward, South Pike; Jenna Hutchison, 5-10guard/forward, Sumrall; Cookie Johnson, 5-10 forward, WarrenCentral; Kristi Martin, 5-7 guard, Bay Springs’ Chinita Steele, 6-0post, Perry Central; Britta Stephens, 5-7 guard, North Pike;Dominique Whitfield, 5-10 post, Crystal Springs.
South Coaches — John P. Stephens of North Pikeand Walter Wilson of Choctaw Central.
North Girls — Cassandra Anderson, 5-10 post,Yazoo County; Shelly Britt, 5-7 guard, NW Rankin; LaShena Brown,5-8 guard, Cleveland; Dominic Cranford, 5-7 point guard, Callaway;Holly Dial, 5-4 guard, Brandon; Tacarra Harris, 5-10 guard, Tupelo;Jessica Houston,5-7 guard, Provine; Myeshia Johnson, 5-11 post,Ridgeland; Lamoesha McAdory, 5-11 post Coldwater; Kristen McBride,6-0 post, Clarkdale; Shalonda Rogers, 5-5 point guard, WestLowndes; Juanita Ward, 5-10 guard, Callaway.
North Coaches — Linda Dear of Brandon andJennifer McCullough of Cleveland.